We've all heard of the term "green building" but here's a new one for you: the "green mortgage." With a green mortgage, buyers of energy-efficient homes are rewarded with a qualification for a larger loan. Basically, the increased savings that come from solar panels, quality insulation and other energy-saving technology are factored in to increase buying power. While the idea is still new, advocates claim this type of financing is a significant step in reducing dependence on nonrenewable energy sources. To qualify, homes must have features such as Energy Star appliances, programmable thermostats and fluorescent lightbulbs. Some home lenders are saying this type of financing is the way of the future. Lenders like these loans because, as energy costs increase, energy saving technology can provide home owners with greater financial stability and allow them to repay the loan. If you are in the market to purchase an energy-efficient home, ask your lender if they offer a green mortgage.